Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon dear ladies and gentlemen!
We are celebrating the 200 th anniversary of not only one of the oldest and most important of our country's museums, we are celebrating the anniversary of one of the very most illustrious centres of world culture. The Kremlin museums can rightly be called our country's main treasure trove and the repository of its national relics. These relics act as symbols of Russian statehood and our national traditions.
And today I congratulate all those who care for this priceless heritage and, of course, I welcome the guests that are participating in this remarkable holiday with us today.
Ever since they were established the Kremlin museums played a special role; they served as a confirmation of the steady force and power of our Fatherland. It was not by accident that decisions to update the collection were always made by high-level decrees. Eminent Russian scientific, cultural, academic and religious figures have worked for and directed the museums. Throughout the most dramatic years of the last century employees of the Kremlin museums did their duty until the end. And sometimes at the price of their own lives they have prevented our national treasures from being destroyed. In the same way that our ancestors did, they faithfully protected these treasures for their descendants and for their Fatherland.
People have always taken an enormous interest in the Kremlin museums. And for millions of people from the most varied backgrounds, not only from Russia but from the whole world, it is precisely the Moscow Kremlin that represents the heart of Russia, embodies its majestic power, cultural wealth and spiritual roots.
We are celebrating this anniversary in Alexander Hall, one of the most beautiful halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace. The hall that symbolizes our military glory, the Georgievsky Hall, is nearby. Here even the walls breathe history and remind us of the glories and great accomplishments of our compatriots. This heritage occasions a justified feeling of respect and national pride.
I am convinced that the new generation has been endowed with a huge responsibility by their ancestors, by historical memory, and by the history of their Fatherland.
References to one's national past strengthen our nation's spiritual and moral bases and provide it with force and self-confidence. And therefore preserving our country's cultural and historical heritage, allowing younger generations to get to know this wealth, and the upbringing of youth themselves all constitute national tasks. Tasks in which the state, society, representatives from different religions, and patrons of the arts should work together. Your work also serves this noble purpose.
And in their third century the Moscow Kremlin museums shall be recognized as a centre of world culture that corresponds both with today's requirements and its valuable educational mission. Its treasures are available to visitors and the museum is open to new projects, to the very closest cultural exchanges and international cooperation.
I think that today all of us are united by one feeling, a feeling of pride that our country has such an invaluable cultural monument. And a deep gratitude towards the people that help protect this wealth.
I congratulate you. Thank you.